Florent Schmitt: A timeline of the composer’s musical creations.

“The fundamental traits of Florent Schmitt’s nature are impulsiveness and impetuosity. He loves abundance and vehemence. A wide range of musical interests and a romantic disposition predispose his imagination to run riot.”

— Henry Barraud, French composer

Florent Schmitt First Day Issue postage stamp 1992

Florent Schmitt (1870-1958)

During his extraordinarily long career, the French composer Florent Schmitt produced a wealth of musical creations. They consist of 138 opus numbers along with several additional items. An alphabetical listing of the Schmitt catalogue of compositions can be viewed here.

Some observers express surprise at such a large body of work, created in nearly every genre except for opera. But what’s also interesting is that only about fifteen of Schmitt’s scores take more than 20 minutes to perform. Regarding the short length of so many of his compositions, Schmitt was fond of quoting a line from Voltaire: “The key to being boring is to say everything.”

One month following the composer’s death in August 1958, Le Guide du concert et du disque, the venerable French classical music periodical established in 1920, made Florent Schmitt the subject of an artistic tribute that appeared in the magazine’s September 26th issue (Volume 203).

In addition to featuring a tribute article penned by Yves Hucher, the musicologist who had written a full-length biography of the composer in 1953, the magazine published a near-comprensive timeline of Schmitt’s compositions that also included descriptive information about their premieres and performers. Compiled for the magazine by music journalist Claude Chamfray, the multi-page timeline remains a helpful reference resource more than 60 years on for those interested in tracing the trajectory of Schmitt’s career and his artistic development.

The Chamfray timeline is reproduced in its entirety below:

Florent Schmitt Composition Timeline Claude Chamfray Page 1Florent Schmitt Composition Timeline Claude Chamfray Page 2Florent Schmitt Composition Timeline Claude Chamfray Page 3